Sara Wheeler

Does William Barents deserve to have a sea named after him?

Andrea Pitzer thinks so, though the explorer’s failed attempts to find a route to China ended in mutiny, starvation and his own early death

They thought it would be warm: William Barents and his crew among the Arctic ice. Illustration after Gerard de Veer’s 1598 account of the three voyages. Credit: Getty Images

Already a subscriber? Log in

This article is for subscribers only

Subscribe today to get 3 months' delivery of the magazine, as well as online and app access, for only £3.

  • Weekly delivery of the magazine
  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Enjoy Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Explore our online archive, going back to 1828


Want to join the debate?

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting your first 3 months for just £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in